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Barclay James  Harvest - River Of Dreams CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.23 | 58 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
2 stars Looking backwards it would have been more than earned that the definitive break-up of this splendid band was marked by producing a spectacular album.

Well, River of Dreams was their last studio album as a three-piece band and it is far from spectacular. In everything the abum smells like breaking up, low motivation, preferably not working closely together anymore. And yet it renders us some beautiful songs, in my opinion.

The album starts off promising with a really good song by Les Holroyd. The orchestral part isnot too surprising but very nice to listen to and the lyrics are simply good. Unfortunately the title track, the first time written by John Lees, is by far not his best track ever written, let alone on this album. It is a nice song but actually very straightforward and not surprising at all. So that was the first desappointment. But Holroyds 'Yesterdays heroes' catches up again because it is another very god song, with a good melody, good arrangements and not too mellow (as often was the case with Holroyds songs). And it is followed by what I consider the best song of the album, 'Children f the disappeared'. It is a bit fragmented but it has such a haunting melody, a more than beautiful guitar solo and chiling lyrics. In my opinion one of Lees' best songs. And than the album goes down never to recover fully. Pool of tears is not my piece of cake at all, just a very mellow lament with absolutely no attractive musicianship whatsoever. The same holds true for the next two songs that are so mediocre that I could hardly believe that one of my favourite bands actually recorded them. Mr. E. proves to be a very nice rendition by John Lees but it is followed by the akward 'Three weeks to despair', his most horrible song to dat, in spite of his good intentions. And closing the album with another very middle of the road song is another proof that BJH was not really into making this album.

Too bad it wasn't possible to record another album at their standards. For thosae who are not acquainted with the band: let this one alone. For the real fans it is a must-have because ot its 4-5 good songs. The rest is really spoiling your time.

Theo Verstrael | 2/5 |


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